Tridentine and Novus Ordo Masses


Dear Father,

I try and try to sift through the information and arguments regarding the differences between the Tridentine Mass and Novus Ordo. I am concerned that the Novus Ordo may be invalid, when I listen to the arguments against it. Can you set your lamp up on the lampstand for me in this matter? Sincerely,


The Traditional Latin and the Tridentine Mass are the same thing. The Liturgy promulgated by Pope St. Pius V in 1570 and celebrated in Latin as the official Mass in the Western Church for 400 years.

The Ordo Missae (Order of the Mass) is the true wording, and the Novus Ordo (New Order) should not be used, because it does not exist. The liturgy promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970 and now celebrated in the language of each country as the official liturgy of the Western Church

Both the Tridentine Mass and the Ordo Missae are licit, although permission must be obtained from a bishop to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. Both may also be celebrated in private or in public, although the General Instruction of the Roman Missal says that "Mass should not be celebrated without a server or the participation of at least one of the faithful, except for some legitimate and reasonable cause" (#211).

A rite is the words and actions used in celebrating the mass. Tridentine is the mode of the Roman rite which stemmed from the reforms of the Council of Trent and was mandated in the Roman Missal of Pius V; English is not a rite, but rather the language in which the rite of the Mass is celebrated in the United States and some other countries, according to the Roman Missal of Paul VI.

God Bless,

Fr. Ray